Central Coast Fishing: Santa Maria man lands 25-pound lingcod out of Port San Luis

Santa Maria resident Daniel Hudson holds up the 25-pound lingcod he caught July 8 out of the Port San Luis boatyard.
Santa Maria resident Daniel Hudson holds up the 25-pound lingcod he caught July 8 out of the Port San Luis boatyard.

When these cousins go fishing, good things happen. Take last Friday for example.

Embarking from the sport launch at Avila Beach as they often do, Danny Hudson of Santa Maria had arranged a ride with his favorite fishing partner, his cousin, Andrew Grabil of Nipomo.

They were well on their way to double rockcod limits with a couple of lings each in the live well when Hudson made a hook-up with a denizen of the sea, one that was up to the challenge.

“We were convinced the connection was with a thresher shark,” Hudson said.

After testing Hudson’s strength and resolve long enough to earn his respect, the identity of his saltwater foe was revealed.

It wasn’t a thresher, but a lingcod.

Said Grabil: “I haven’t seen one that big in many years.”

What Hudson brought on board was a 25-pounder, one that earned Port San Luis Boatyard “Whopper of the Week” honors.

It also is the heaviest ling caught thus far in 2016 by anglers fishing out of the boatyard’s sport launch.

Renewal of halibut derby

After a five-year hiatus, the Port San Luis Halibut Derby was restarted last year. The event is on again next weekend, July 23-24.

The entry fee is $100 per person, and all occupants of each boat must be entered.

“This is a no-profit event for Port San Luis Boatyard,” said Missy Lintner, a member of the planning committee.

Competition will begin at safe light each day. Participants must be back at the marina by 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The entry fee includes a ticket for the post-tournament barbecue on Sunday.

Anglers planning to enter are encouraged to pre-register at the marina, which will assist in a smooth start to the event.

Port San Luis Boatyard

The catch from 89 boats last week included 46 lingcod and the season’s first documented white seabass. Full rockcod limits were recorded four days and three-quarter limits three days.

Virg’s Landing

Two more anglers have qualified for the John Rowley Lingcod Bonanza scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10.

No. 15 with an 18.7-pound lingcod was Rick Firmalo from Visalia. He made the catch aboard the Rita G on July 10.

The previous week, Luis Sole from San Jose punched his ticket with the catch of an 18.0-pound lingcod.

Other jackpot winners last week were: Jason Anderson, Cambria, 14.4 pounds; Ray Sanchez, Santa Maria, 14.0 pounds; and Lee Noriega, Visalia, 13.0 pounds.

As of Sunday, the lingcod count for the year was 3,364 fish.

Bruce Harwood, Virg’s manager, reported: “The red rockfish bite has been outstanding this year, both in shallow and deep water. It is not unusual to average five to seven reds per angler on a trip. There still are 23 spots open for the two-day trip scheduled to depart on Friday, Sept. 23. The July and August two-day trips are sold out. Virg’s Landing is the only sport-fishing outfit on the Central Coast that offers two-day rockcod fishing trips.”

Patriot Sportfishing

Fifteen trips were run out of Patriot Sportfishing’s Avila base last week, eight aboard the vessel Patriot and seven aboard the Avenger. The catch totalled 3,077 fish.

The big fish, a 14.0-pound lingcod, was caught by a San Luis Obispo angler who listed his first name only, Dave.

Also winning jackpots were: Phillip Villamor, Arroyo Grande, 13.6 ling; John Stutz, twice, and Joe Torres, both Arroyo Grande, 13.0 lings; Ben Chamberlin, Grand Junction, Colorado, Tomas DeRosa, Santa Maria, 12.0 lings; Roger York, San Luis Obispo, Shawn Meyer, Vandenberg, Robert Heinrich, Hanford, all 11.0 lings; Richard Wirz, San Luis Obispo, and Richad Stultz, Clovis, both 10.0 lings; Juan Joyce, Orcutt, 8.0 ling; and Jose Uribe, Santa Maria, 3.0 vermillian.

A total of 331 passengers caught 214 lingcod, 1,125 red rockcod, 202 bolina, 1,848 assorted rockfish, 129 copper rockfish, five cabezon and three bocaccio.

Morro Bay Landing

Lemoore angler Brian Jaquez had last week’s biggest jackpot fish at 15.0 pounds. Other jackpot winners included: Matt Allen, Visalia, 14.5 pounds; Yolanda Ortega, Exeter, and Dean Guzman, Paso Robles, both 14.0 pounds; Matt Durham, Austin, Indiana, 13.0 pounds, Josh Klusten, Hanford, and J.R. Nillek, Clovis, both 12.0 pounds; and Drew Johnson, Bakersfield, 10.0 pounds.

Last week, 188 anglers caught 2,052 fish, including 152 lingcod. Rounding out the catch were 472 red rockcod, 49 copper rockfish, 1,213 assorted rockfish and two bocacco.

Santa Margarita Lake

Ken Hemer, Marina Manager reported: “The highlight of the week was the catch of a 21.4-pound blue catfish by local angler Michael Colmenero. His catch was made with chicken liver bait. He made the catch from a fishing dock just north of the marina. Slightly cooler temperatures has improved the bass bite, including the triggering of a frog bite. Drop shots and blades fished just outside of the grass lines all over the lake also has been working for largemouth bass. Crappie and redear activity also picked up for anglers either drifting or trolling small spoons and spinners in the White Oak area.”

Whale Rock

For the 11th consecutive open period, expanded last week from five days to seven, no trout were caught. Only one angler showed up.

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Whale Rock